How Not To Fall In Love

Cover Image: How Not to Fall In Love

Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily ever afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.

When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She's even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

HMHTeen 12/21/21

"The story effectively strikes a balance between sweet, serious, and steamy (though not explicit), with Harper’s sardonic narration adding nice touches of humor. Her anxiety over relationship failure, which she equates with personal failure, is portrayed realistically and with sympathy. (Im)perfectly real and endearing. " --Kirkus

"While persuading readers that the protagonists are MFEO, Firkins creates an adroit, even suspenseful dance of push and pull: Harper overthinks relationships and considers Felix’s appeal, and Theo fears being hurt. The resulting will-they-or-won’t-they not only gives rom-com formulas a playful refresh, it makes a strong case for the joys of medieval cosplay." --Publisher's Weekly

"Firkins knows how to write swoon-worthy make-out scenes, and her characters are well-developed and full of humor. As the novel evolves, Harper becomes a more interesting protagonist, reinforced by the superbly drawn Theo, quirky coworker Pippa, and her supportive mom. VERDICT A charming story: give this to insatiable fans of high school romances." --School Library Journal